Senate Health and Demography Committee Chairman Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go vowed to act quickly on the bills seeking suspension of the scheduled increase in Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) contribution.
“Once these proposed measures are referred to the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, I, as Chair, will act on these as soon as possible,” he said in a statement.
Go also mentioned that Senate President Vicente Sotto III has already identified the said measures as a priority.
In another statement, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said they will refer the bills immediately to the appropriate committees so that they can hopefully pass it before 14 February.
Go also said Malacanang has already expressed support for these measures.
“Sinabi niya na kung may maipapasang batas ang lehislatibo na naglalayong ipatupad ang deferment, o kung may kailangang aprubahan na dagdag na pondo mula gobyerno para hindi maantala ang serbisyo ng PhilHealth, pipirmahan niya ito pagkatapos mapag-aralan ng mabuti,” he said.
For now, Go mentioned that Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado at PhilHealth President and CEO Dante Gierran are already studying ways to ensure that the deferment will not affect the state health insurance system.
At least two bills were filed in the Senate which seeks the deferment of the scheduled PhilHealth premium increase as mandated by the UHC Law.
On Monday night, former presidential aide and now Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go disclosed that President Rodrigo Duterte has deferred the scheduled increase in contributions.
It is unclear, however, if Duterte can order right away the postponement of the premium hike as the Universal Health Care Law mandates the scheduled increase and it might need amendments of the said law through legislation of a separate measure.
Under the UHC law, the premium rate will increase to 3.50% of the monthly basic salary from the current 3.00%.
The UHC Law provides that the premium rate shall increase to increments of 0.5% every year, starting 2021 until it reaches the 5% limit in 2025.
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